Benefits, Challenges, and Tips (2023)


We all need help sometimes. In your daily life, you might hire a dog handler, hire the services of a house cleaner, or ask a tutor to help your child with their math homework. All of these services could be considered outsourcing. Paying for professional help gives you more time to focus on tasks that better suit your skills. Similarly with marketing, outsourcing is a way to attract new talent, cut costs, and save time.

What does it mean to outsource marketing?

Outsourcing marketing is the commissioning of a third-party company to carry out a wide variety of marketing tasks. Marketing an e-commerce business requires many different initiatives – developing email campaigns, creating SEO-optimized content marketing, and devising clever social media marketing strategies. Each of these initiatives requires different skills, and you may not have the resources to hire an entire in-house marketing team to run these initiatives. When you outsource marketing, you hire an outside marketing agency to perform some or all of these tasks. This gives you access to the expertise of people who specialize in each area, saving you the time and money it would take to acquire those skills in-house.

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Advantages and challenges of outsourcing marketing

Before you commit to outsourcing, consider what you want out of the relationship and what you are willing to invest in it. Although third-party companies can deliver the same results you would get from an in-house team, they require different processes for managing and using them. Here are some of the benefits and challenges that marketing outsourcing can bring to your business.

Outsourcing benefits include:

Access to special skills

Marketing disciplines like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) require specialized knowledge to work effectively. Hiring an agency gives you access to experienced marketing professionals with expertise in each area.

Possibility to diversify your channels

A marketing agency can help your brand explore new marketing channels. For example, the agency’s team can help you launch a content marketing program without the need to hire and train dedicated staff to manage your blog.

Lower costs

When you hire an outsourced marketing department, you pay a fixed fee per hour or per project. You only pay for the exact services you use and you save on costs associated with full-time employment, such as B. Providing social benefits and investing in training and development.


You don’t need to outsource every aspect of your marketing strategy. Instead, you can choose which marketing services you want to outsource to an agency and which (if any) you can handle in-house. For example, you can choose to outsource only the most time-consuming tasks or those that require specific expertise.

Outsourcing challenges include:

difficulties with communication

An internal marketing department is integrated into your communication systems and has a deep understanding of your brand, your customers and your company. An outsourced marketing partner, on the other hand, is not integrated into your business. It can be more difficult to find time to meet with your outsourced team than with an in-house team member, and you may also need to spend more time explaining brand and business fundamentals to the outsourced team. Little things like not having access to shared calendars and working with different software can slow down communication and work.

Finding a compatible outsourcing partner takes time

Interviewing marketing agencies and onboarding your chosen partner requires upfront time commitment from your team as you all need to find the right agency for the job. This can take up your team’s time and require many meetings to agree on the scope of the project before the outside agency can begin work.

Difficulty understanding your brand’s voice

Creating engaging content that reflects your company’s point of view requires in-depth knowledge of your brand. Third-party partners will not understand your brand voice as well as an internal marketing colleague.

Requires relationship management

External partners need internal management to understand what they have to do and to operate successfully. A member of your staff must manage the relationship by setting expectations, informing projects and reviewing results.


6 tips for outsourcing your company’s marketing

Choosing your outsourced marketing partner is the hardest part of getting started. Shopify Plus Partners can help you find a compatible marketing agency. Use these tips to find a reliable partner and put him on the road to success:

  1. Determine the scope
  2. Set a budget
  3. Conduct interviews before choosing an agency
  4. Set clear expectations and timelines
  5. Select an internal team member to manage the relationship
  6. Ensure good communication

1. Determine the scope

    Before choosing a partner, explain what marketing services you want to outsource and assess how they fit into your overall marketing strategy. For example, you can decide if you need help developing a new marketing plan or creating content. By setting the scope, you can determine the size and type of agency you need to work with.

    2. Set a budget

      Outsourcing marketing is generally less expensive than building an in-house marketing department because you don’t have to hire, train, and manage an entire team. Set your budget before approaching potential partners. Submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit bids from multiple agencies and exclude any agencies whose minimum spend is above your budget.

      3. Conduct interviews before deciding on an agency

        Use face-to-face or virtual meetings to describe the services you want to outsource and get a feel for potential partners. Look for agencies that have run successful campaigns in the past or have worked with brands similar to yours, and feel free to ask for references.

        4. Set clear expectations and timelines

          Bring your new agency up to speed on your current marketing program by taking notes on the projects they’ll be working on and sharing a set of brand guidelines. Set clear expectations and provide your partner with timelines and a comprehensive list of expected deliverables so both parties are clear on these elements before work begins.

          5. Select an internal team member to manage the relationship

            Before you outsource marketing tasks to a third party, make sure there is someone on your team who can manage the relationship. A representative of your team needs to inform projects, approve work, and provide feedback.

            6. Ensure good communication

            Check back regularly. In addition to written communication, it’s a good idea to set up an ongoing meeting, perhaps weekly, where both teams can ask questions and provide feedback.

            Frequently Asked Questions: Outsource Marketing to an Agency

            What types of marketing tasks can be outsourced?

            Almost every aspect of marketing can be outsourced. Services that are often outsourced include market research, content marketing, and web design.

            How Much Does Outsourcing Marketing Usually Cost?

            Outsourcing costs vary greatly depending on the scope of the outsourced services. For example, email marketing alone can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 per month. Businesses typically spend between $1,000 and $20,000 per month to outsource marketing services. Once you’ve determined the scope of your marketing needs, ask potential partners to quote you for their services before committing to an agency.

            Can I outsource marketing for a short-term project or is this only for long-term contracts?

            Outsourcing offers the flexibility to choose the services you want, including hiring an outsourced marketing partner for a short-term project. Note that some large agencies may have minimum contract lengths or require specific expenses.

            Can companies outsource their marketing to foreign agencies or contractors?

            It is perfectly legal to outsource marketing services to international agencies; Many companies are already outsourcing services such as IT and customer service abroad. Make sure you interview and evaluate work samples to find a reliable partner and confirm that your working hours match – time differences can make it difficult to communicate effectively with an outsourced marketing partner.


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